Standard lead times of weeks or months are often seen as a built-in and unassailable part of the injection molding production process. In both the prototyping and manufacturing stages, conventional wisdom says that tooling design, manufacturing and production are extremely time-consuming processes — with the price tag to match. These long lead times are not a mere inconvenience — they can and often do have real effects on your product and your bottom line. Silicone molding is a readily available way to work with shorter lead times (and lower costs). Ultimately, this material can get your product to market faster, without sacrificing the quality or design of your product.
Plastic molding is a process with an extremely broad range of applications and uses. For that reason, innovations, trends and opportunities in the industries where plastic molding is widely used also often represent the same possibilities for plastic molding itself. As designs, materials, regulations, and consumer/buyer needs and tastes continue to evolve, plastic molding has no choice but to follow suit.
As your product moves into production, injection molding costs can start to feel like they’re adding up at a rapid pace. Especially if you were prudent in the prototyping stage, drawing on rapid prototyping and 3D printing to manage your costs, it’s natural to feel a bit of “sticker shock” once those production quotes start to surface. From tooling creation to machine setup and production time, the remaining steps in bringing your product to market are likely to represent a large portion of your overall investment.